[diggers350] Re: Resurrection and the land/direct democracy
mm at iniref.org
Tue Aug 19 09:30:35 BST 2008
May I suggest a way to add interest and people-power to proposals which
involve fundamental change in public law and/or constitution.
1) Append to your reform proposal a demand for binding plebiscite on the
proposal, to be held in UK or the political entity in question.
2) Consider a formal affiliation of the proposing group (the association
or "citizens' initiative" etc.) and the "umbrella" group such as TLIO
to the Campaign for Direct Democracy, I&R – GB or a campaign with
Both James Armstrong and Simon Fairlie have expressed interest in the
I&R – GB campaign www.iniref.org so I hope that co-operation can develop.
p.s I&R ~ GB is independent of political parties. We have no "own"
policy such as being against European Union or pro-fox hunting. However
we can assist people and groups wishing to obtain a referendum
(plebiscite) in a worthy cause.
Dr. Michael Macpherson
I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
Malcolm Ramsay wrote:
> I'll wish you luck with this James, because I fully agree with you on
> the ill effects of corporate personhood and the iniquity of current
> land law - but do you really think we can arrive at a rational system
> by piling another absurdity on top of what we already have? 'Extending
> rights to dead peasants' seems an odd way to try and win recognition
> of the rights of the living (and I doubt you'll find much sympathy,
> either politically or from the courts).
> Personally I think we need to find some way of getting recognition of
> a birthright to land - I posted a piece on this forum a few years ago
> suggesting an approach that the courts might find difficult to reject,
> which might (just) conceivably lead to a change in the law without
> having to sway people politically. But I didn't get much feedback on
> it and I'm not in a position to take it anywhere myself - it needs
> someone who is landless (and willing to go out on a limb legally).
> I don't know whether you get many private responses to your posts, but
> I hope you don't get too disheartened at not getting more feedback
> through the group. I'd hoped, when I joined the diggers list, that
> there might be more of a dialogue going on about how we might effect a
> fundamental change, but mostly it doesn't seem to be that kind of
> forum and it's good to see you attempting to invigorate it in that
> direction; I only wish I could believe the proposals you put forward
> have any prospect of success, but they generally seem to need some
> groundswell of opinion - my feeling is we need to find some small
> action that will be like the dropped pebble that sets off an avalanche.
> To my mind you are focusing more on the fundamental problem in this
> post than you often have in the past, which I'm sure is what we have
> to do. But there is much in the current system which has real value
> and I don't think it's enough just to propose sweeping changes - we
> have to be able to show how they can be integrated with the rest of
> the law.
> Malcolm Ramsay
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: james armstrong <james36army at yahoo.com>
> To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Friday, 15 August, 2008 7:16:13 AM
> Subject: [diggers350] incorporating dead peasants
> RESURRECTION AND THE LAND - OR INCORPORATING DEAD PEASANTS
> Think the land law needs changing? Would you like to redistribute the
> 129,500 acres of the Duchy of Cornwall? Or the 60,000 of the Duke of
> Buccleuch? Was your local commons unfairly enclosed two hundred years
> ago and do you think this needs reversing? Don't want to pay £65,000
> (and repay £214,000 on a mortgage on it) for the land underneath that
> new house you want? Don’t have any land of your own to construct your
> brand new architect designed house at a cost of £55,000 because two
> thirds of the land of the UK is controlled by 190,000 families who
> privately tax you for the privilege of building the house you need?
> The doctrine of corporate personhood.
> Supreme court justice Morrison Renwick Waite in Santa Clara County v
> Southern Pacific Railroad. in 1886 said,
> 'The court does not want to hear argument whether the provision under
> the fourteenth amendment to the constitution which forbids a state to
> deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the
> laws applies to these corporations. We are alike of opinion that it
> ….quoted in 'the Post Corporate World' by David Korton.
> We suggest that another apparent legal absurdity, incorporating dead
> peasants, can upset the single greatest means, minority control of the
> land, by which English people are exploited'
> SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT
> Companies have fictional identity as 'corporations' that is they have
> been given fictional bodies to which are attached very real legal
> rights, including personal or human rights. Laws of long ago are very
> relevant to-day. Fundamental to our constitutional law and
> particularly to our land law are the statutes of William of Normandy.
> This is acknowledged by our foremost legal commentators, e.g. Prof FW
> Maitland who lectured in Cambridge University in 1899.
> Ranulf Glanvill's commentary, written 1187 to 1189, is still referred
> to by lawyers.
> It is a surprising oversight by which antiquity, human rights and
> incorporation are conjoined to extend to business enterprises a
> privileged status which has not been extended to meet the needs of
> present human society especially those particularly oppressed in the
> realm of housing.
> Extending rights to dead peasants will set in train the recognition
> that the ancient basis of our land ownership is now invalid and needs
> updating and carry the prospect of ending privilege.
> The Statute of Mortmain (i.e. 'dead hand') of 1289 recognised the
> danger of land being alienated in perpetuity.It limited grants of land
> to the church,arguing that the church never dies and that such land
> was lost to the state for ever.
> We should remember that with control of the land went control of the
> bodies, of the labour and of the lives of the peasants who dwelled on
> it. Still to-day, controlling land gives control over lives.
> It can be argued that because it is the lot of people to die, but not
> necessarily of corporations , then people are disadvantaged re
> 'fictional' corporations and trusts. This cannot be rational nor
> compatible with current equal opportunities legislation. Incorporating
> dead peasants is logical and less potentially harmful, in fact
> beneficial to present day society.
> Once their rights are posthumously recognised the injustice of the
> laws which oppressed them is apparent and with it the need to remedy
> the defect.. Title to land based on such laws is invalidated by the
> recognition that such land law (and title) is inappropriate for
> current social needs. Laws needs to be scrapped or changed to bring
> them up to date with modern interpretations of equity. This is
> relevant to our land law which to an extraordinary degree, in UK,
> conserves a system of monopoly bulk landownership which acts against
> the interests of the majority- who are not bulk land owners yet for
> whom every activity requires access to land and land monopoly runs
> counter to anti-monopoly legislation such as the 1998 Competition Act.
> (At present this act applies only to goods and services.) The
> Competition Law needs amending to extend to transactions in land.
> Incorporating dead peasants and recognising that their rights were
> abrogated by
> inequitable land law is the first step in ending exploitation of
> living people by means of current law which supports minority control
> of bulk land but is based on such shaky foundations. Alternatively we
> could wait for the other resurrection. JA
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